Categories
Latest News USA

‘Welcome your emergence as leading global power’: US calls India an important partner in Indo-Pacific

Describing India as one of the most important partners of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, the Biden Administration on Tuesday said that it welcomes India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region. “India is one of the most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region to us. We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.

Earlier in the day, he said, Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke with his Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, for the second time in less than a fortnight. During the call, the two leaders reaffirmed the strength of the US-India partnership and discussed issues of mutual concern, including the situation in Myanmar. Blinken expressed concern over the military coup and the importance of rule of law and the democratic process in Myanmar. They also discussed regional developments, including the value of US-India cooperation across the Indo-Pacific. ”Both sides look forward to expanded regional cooperation, including through the Quad, and to address the challenges of COVID and climate change, Price said.

Responding to a question, Price said the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership is both broad as well as multi-faceted. “We’ll continue to engage at the highest levels of our government to deepen cooperation on many fronts, and we are confident that the strong and upward trajectory of our partnership will, in fact, continue, he told reporters. India and the US, he said, cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic and security issues, including defence, nonproliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, counterterrorism, peacekeeping, the environment, health, education, technology, agriculture, space and oceans.

“We also work closely in international organizations, and we welcome India joining the Security Council in last month of this year for a two-year term,” Price said. The United States, he noted, also remains India’s largest and most important trading partner, with total bilateral trade increasing to $146 billion in 2019. US companies, of course, are a large source of India’s foreign direct investment, he said.

Price also highlighted the people-to-people ties which he said are broad and important. “Across this country, nearly four million Indian Americans call the United States home, contributing in their communities and proudly serving their country in uniform,” he said.

Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

President Joe Biden and PM Modi speak, say “committed to rules-based order”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Monday to say that he has spoken to the new US President Joe Biden to discuss regional issues and “our shared priorities” and express commitment to a “rule-based international order”.  This was the first telephonic conversation between the two leaders after Biden’s inauguration which took place last month.

The two leaders noted that the India-US partnership is “firmly anchored in a shared commitment to democratic values and common strategic interests” read a communique from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“They reiterated the importance of working with like-minded countries to ensure a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” the communique read.

“President @JoeBiden and I are committed to a rules-based international order. We look forward to consolidating our strategic partnership to further peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” PM Modi said in another tweet.

A statement from the White House said that President Biden, in the phone call with PM Modi, “underscored his desire to defend democratic institutions and norms around the world and noted that a shared commitment to democratic values is the bedrock for the U.S.-India relationship.”

The two leaders have also agreed to further their cooperation against the global climate change.  “Prime Minister welcomed President Biden’s decision to re-commit to the Paris Agreement and highlighted the ambitious targets India has set for itself in the area of renewable energy,” his office said.

After Biden’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States in January, PM Modi had congratulated him in a series of tweets. At the time, he had said that India will work with the United States to ensure global peace and security and take the partnership between the two nations to greater heights.

The Prime Minister had spoken to Biden after his election victory, reiterating India’s firm commitment to the strategic partnership between the two nations. He had also congratulated Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, saying her election was a matter of pride for the Indian-American community.

Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

11 teams of Indo-US scientists to jointly scout for COVID 19 solutions

By The SATimes News Service

New Delhi: Eleven teams of Indian and US scientists will soon start jointly scouting for out of the box solutions ranging from novel early diagnostic tests, antiviral therapy, drug repurposing, ventilator research, disinfection machines, and sensor-based symptom tracking for COVID 19.

The teams have been selected to take up these initiatives through a rigorous binational review process of proposals received for an invitation under COVID-19 Ignition Grants in April 2020 issued by the U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF).

The USISTEF announced the awards to eleven bilateral teams proposing out-of-the-box, innovative ideas to address the COVID-19 challenge. The USISTEF has been established by the Government of India (through the Department of Science & Technology) and the governments of the United States of America (through the Department of State) for the promotion of joint activities that would lead to innovation and entrepreneurship through the application of science and technology.

The joint U.S.-India S&T based entrepreneurial teams will work on initiatives that address the development and implementation of new technologies, tools, and systems to address COVID-19 related challenges including monitoring, diagnosis, health and safety, public outreach, information and communication.

As countries battle the COVID-19 pandemic, innovations in Science, Engineering, and Technology will play a critical role in finding solutions to this global challenge through the development of new vaccines, devices, diagnostic tools, and information systems, as well as strategies to help communities and nations manage and deploy resources to combat this pandemic.

In keeping with its’ mission and vision, the USISTEF announced the Call for Proposals under the category of COVID-19 Ignition Grants with the intent to support promising joint U.S.-India S&T based entrepreneurial initiatives to address the COVID-19 challenge.

The mission of the United States–India Science & Technology Endowment Fund is to support and foster joint applied R&D to generate public good through the commercialization of technology developed through partnerships between U.S. and Indian researchers and entrepreneurs to help combat this pandemic.

The bilateral Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) administers all activities of the USISTEF program. Details of the Awardee projects can be accessed at www.iusstf.org

Read More
Categories
Business USA

155 Indian companies create nearly 125K jobs in US: CII report

Washington, DC: As many as 155 Indian companies have invested $22 billion in the US, thus creating nearly 125,000 jobs in the country, according to a report issued by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Monday.

The report, “Indian Roots, American Soil 2020,” is a state-by-state breakdown of tangible investments made and jobs created by 155 surveyed Indian companies doing business in all 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Texas, California, New Jersey, New York and Florida are home to the greatest number of workers in the US directly employed by the reporting Indian companies, the report said.

“Indian-Americans have made so many important cultural, economic and scientific contributions to our country and Texas values your hard work and innovation. So keep up the good work!” said Senator John Cornyn, who is also co-chair of the Senate India Caucus.

CII said that the surveyed companies disclosed the highest amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Texas, New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Massachusetts.

The states with the top concentrations of Indian companies reporting were New Jersey, Texas, California, New York, Illinois and Georgia.

“Together, 155 Indian companies employ nearly 125,000 people across 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The total value of tangible investments made by these 155 companies exceeds $22 billion,” the CII said.

Indian investments in 20 US states stand at over $100 million each, CII report said, adding that 77 per cent of the companies plan to make more investments in the US.

As many as 83 per cent of the companies plan to hire more employees locally in the next five years.

Now, as the world, and both India and America grapples with the coronavirus, “we need to take this moment to rededicate to building good jobs for Americans, for Indians,” said Senator Mark Warner, C-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.

“We need to recommit ourselves to building stronger relationships between India and the United States,” he said.

The surveyed companies also provided data regarding their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and research and development expenditures, which totaled $ 175 million and $900 million, respectively.

“The report draws attention to the contribution made by Indian companies to local communities through their CSR initiatives like supporting students, organizing special skill and training programs,” India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu said.

This report tells the continuing story of successful and innovative Indian companies attracted to the US as one of the best places to do business, and the US locations eager to welcome those companies, said Diane Farrell, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Administration, US Department of Commerce.

The growing ties and investment between US and Indian business communities support jobs and opportunities for both our nations and help us respond to global challenges, like COVID-19, said Peter Haas, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of CII, said the survey results show that the US is a preferred investment destination for Indian companies which are contributing significantly to supporting local jobs.

The results in the survey capture a snapshot in time, documenting tangible investments and direct jobs only, so I believe that the actual economic impact of Indian FDI in the US is much larger, he said.

It is critical that the US Government continues to provide a supportive policy environment for Indian companies to flourish and enhance their operations in the US, especially to aid economic recovery at this time, Banerjee said. (PTI) 

Read More